The Broken Lands

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Continuing our preview of the ten meta-regions of the Lost Omens World Guide, releasing in August, this week we take a look at the Broken Lands. This region occupies the northeastern corner of Avistan, consisting of Brevoy, Mendev, Numeria, Razmiran, the River Kingdoms, and the Sarkoris Scar (what used to be the Worldwound). While many parts of the world could be described as "broken," this region is particularly scarred by political upheaval, war, and demonic invasion. Player characters in these lands are likely to find rival factions competing for control of a government on the edge of collapse, open conflict between opposing city- or nation-states, or the remnants of the Abyssal horde now cut off from their demonic home plane and stranded in a world no longer focused on eradicating the threat they present.

Illustration by Federico Musetti

Unlike Absalom, which we examined last week, there have been several adventure paths and standalone modules set in the Broken Lands whose outcomes we've canonically codified into the second edition status quo. Among these are Iron Gods, Kingmaker, and Wrath of the Righteous.

In Numeria, the Technic League has fallen from power, leaving Black Sovereign, Kevoth-Kul to kick his addiction to the mind-muddling drugs they'd been feeding him for years all on his own. What erratic behavior may come from the throes of withdrawal, and what political factions may vie to replace the league as the power behind the throne remains to be seen. Perhaps the adherents of the new goddess, Casandalee, will play a role?

Illustration by Valeria Lutfullina and Rogier van de Beek

In the River Kingdoms, a new nation rose in the Stolen Lands (conveniently left unnamed so that the kingdom you created in your Kingmaker campaign doesn't invalidate canon) and overtook Pitax.

In neighboring Brevoy, a king left at the altar has brought the lands of Issia and Rostland closer to war than ever before. Meanwhile, the previously abandoned and sealed Skywatch presents a new mystery for adventurers uninterested in the feuds of the nation's noble houses.

Illustration by Klaher Baklaher

Queen Galfrey of Mendev, kept alive with sun orchid elixir to ensure constant leadership against the agents of the Abyss, has been given a well-earned retirement, and has left the nation in the capable hands of Chancellor Irahai. The end of the Mendevian Crusades, however, has left the nation without purpose or common threat, and the chancellor has her work cut out for her in unifying the people to foster a national culture long overshadowed by the threat of war and legions of foreign crusaders calling the northern land home.

Illustration by Cynthia F. G.

In what was formerly the Worldwound—closed when mythic heroes defeated the demon lord Deskari—demons still lay claim to the tainted wasteland. While before they could count on endless reinforcements from the heart of the Abyss, the surviving demons and cultists are now cut off from their home plane and desperate to survive. The native Sarkorians who once called the land home have begun to return and reclaim their ancestral homeland, but they won't find its current inhabitants particularly welcoming. With the help of remnant crusaders not yet turned south to face the rising threat of the Whispering Tyrant and the strange outsiders that the Sarkorians call their gods, perhaps they can heal the Sarkoris Scar and make it into a stable, fertile land once again.

Illustration by Rogier van de Beek

In Razmiran, once merely a River Kingdom and now a nation in its own right, life continues as it did before the Whispering Tyrant's escape, its citizens taking solace in the knowledge that their land is protected by a benevolent deity, Razmir. The Living God has not opposed the Whispering Tyrant and a constant stream of "donated" corpses to the lich's armies has ensured a tenuous peace between the two powers.

This chapter of the Lost Omens World Guide presents seven new character backgrounds and the Aldori duelist archetype, which allows player characters to master the iconic dueling style of Brevoy's Aldori swordlords!

Illustration by Klaher Baklaher

On Thursday, be sure to check out the second in our Tales of Lost Omens series of flash fiction, written by veteran Pathfinder Tales author Tim Pratt, who previously explored the region in the pages of the novels Liar's Blade and Reign of Stars. Next week, we'll look at the Eye of Dread along the shores of Lake Encarthan, where the shroud of undeath has once again fallen upon the world.

Mark Moreland
Franchise Manager

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Tags: Pathfinder Lost Omens
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Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Huzzah!


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Nice overview of the Broken Lands and excellent illustrations (which I vastly prefer to the anime style). The top few especially reflect the "feel" of this region, while the topmost illustrates that beauty can yet exist amidst the scarred terrain of these lands.

Look forward to further Lost Omens blogs.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

So Queen Galfrey has stepped down, conveniently opening up her schedule to be the

Spoiler:
Herald of Iomedae
(assuming no PC stepped up for the job) if that's what happened in your game.

I wonder what's going to happen when we need to name that particular entity at some point in the future.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

OMG is that second picture an aged-up Lander Lebeda?! He looks darn fine if I do say so myself. :D


5 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber

So the archetypes we know so far:

Core Rulebook: The multiclass archetype for each class.

Lost Omens World Guide: One per region:

1) Absalom: Pathfinder Agent
2) Broken Lands: Aldori Duelist
3) Eye of Dread
4) Golden Road
4) High Seas
6) Impossible Lands: Student of Perfection
7) Mwangi Expanse
8) Old Cheliax
9) Saga Lands
10) Shining Kingdoms

Looking forward to hearing the rest!


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

Can it be August/GenCon/2e already? I'm so ready to get these books in my hands and start reading.

And loving the hints at new storylines for these regions, whether they'll be new APs, modules, PFS2 scenarios or just hooks for inventive GMs, so much awesomeness.


So Noleski Surtova was left at the alter eh...now why do I believe it was actually his sister's fault eh?

The Sarkorian culture always fascinated me, and I'm glad we're going to see it resurge and rise again because I've drawn a lot of what little we know about their culture into my Home Game.

Mendev trying to find it's place in the world is going to be interesting, though with the Tyrant still on the rise it's not like they don't have a new target for their holy ministrations.

Of course, the False God would through his lot in with the Tyrant, time to add another kingdom to my baron's control.

Sovereign Court

9 people marked this as a favorite.

"The Unnamed Kingdom"

I cannot find a "Shut Up and Take My Money" meme to post. But please understand this post to be that.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Oh goody, even more reasons to hate Razmir.

Shadow Lodge

7 people marked this as a favorite.

How much more do we need?

Maybe even an adventure path...


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Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

Feels like a pretty stupid move on Razmir's part. As much as I dislike him, he's been reasonably intelligent in everything we've seen, except for this.

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Bit confused that Kevoth-Kul is suffering from withdrawal since I don't remember IG featuring option to leave him in power and still addicted, but yay for not!Conan still living :D

Paizo Employee Designer

15 people marked this as a favorite.
VerBeeker wrote:
So Noleski Surtova was left at the alter eh...now why do I believe it was actually his sister's fault eh?

As a designer, I haven't had a huge number of big story discussions in my time here, since I worked on the Pathfinder RPG line before we restructured to add interconnectivity to every project for PF2. But as the design lead working on this book, I'd have to say that the overall discussions for the Broken Lands and Brevoy were some of the most deepest story discussions I've had at the company, and it heavily involved all the editorial leads (me, Eleanor and Luis the development leads, and Judy the edit lead). By the end, we must have gone through dozens of variations of fun intrigue plots before we found one that had the coolest aspects of several others without those other plots' drawbacks. I hope you guys like it!


6 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
NielsenE wrote:
Feels like a pretty stupid move on Razmir's part. As much as I dislike him, he's been reasonably intelligent in everything we've seen, except for this.

Eh if he legit thinks the Tyrant has a good chance of becoming a true God its best to get into their good books. Especially if volunteering support stops the Tyrants forces aggressively acquiring resources within his domain.


I feel like the basic problem with "Razmiran is a problem of a country which is a danger to itself and others, just ripe for a plucky band of heroes to fix" is that precisely the same (in a different flavor) could be said about Galt.

If we do a "fix Razmiran" and a "fix Galt" AP, then we're left with two nations in somewhat close geographical proximity which need new identities. So which should be the higher priority?

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.

ALSO WAIT A SEC

That is fricking (older) Lander Ledeba from Kingmaker CRPG, isn't it?! :D

No wonder things are getting screwed up in Brevoy, that guy is canon!

Edit: Also noticed someone already pointed that out, but I added link so everyone else also gets the context

Paizo Employee Designer

6 people marked this as a favorite.
CorvusMask wrote:

ALSO WAIT A SEC

That is fricking (older) Lander Ledeba from Kingmaker CRPG, isn't it?! :D

No wonder things are getting screwed up in Brevoy, that guy is canon!

Edit: Also noticed someone already pointed that out, but I added link so everyone else also gets the context

He's originally from Pathfinder Society scenarios, starting with Horn of Aroden.

Paizo Employee Developer

5 people marked this as a favorite.
CorvusMask wrote:
That is fricking (older) Lander Ledeba from Kingmaker CRPG, isn't it?! :D

As ninja'd by Mark, Lander's been canon for much longer than the Kingmaker cRPG; he was name-dropped in the Brevoy gazateer in the very first volume of the Kingmaker Adventure Path. However, instead of venturing into the Stolen Lands to annoy the new ruler, he canonically ventured into PFS to annoy the Pathfinder Society, and actually grew up into a rather well-mannered young man.

Dark Archive

Mark Seifter wrote:
CorvusMask wrote:

ALSO WAIT A SEC

That is fricking (older) Lander Ledeba from Kingmaker CRPG, isn't it?! :D

No wonder things are getting screwed up in Brevoy, that guy is canon!

Edit: Also noticed someone already pointed that out, but I added link so everyone else also gets the context

He's originally from Pathfinder Society scenarios, starting with Horn of Aroden.

Wait a sec, I've run that scen-

Oh. He is THAT guy :D I forgot his name so I never realized those two where the same person

Aaand now I have another reason to dislike Kingmaker CRPG's original content because he is kind of a jerk in CRPG :P Dagnabbit Kingmaker writers for setting his character development back!

Grand Lodge

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Playing teenage Lander was quite amusing, as I recall.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Maps, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Oh look its Lander! I must not have buried the body deep enough...


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Is that Sarkorian flag intentionally Haida-esque? It looks great! Really interested to learn more about Sarkorians! So far this book looks amazing. Can it be August already?


Mark Seifter wrote:
VerBeeker wrote:
So Noleski Surtova was left at the alter eh...now why do I believe it was actually his sister's fault eh?
As a designer, I haven't had a huge number of big story discussions in my time here, since I worked on the Pathfinder RPG line before we restructured to add interconnectivity to every project for PF2. But as the design lead working on this book, I'd have to say that the overall discussions for the Broken Lands and Brevoy were some of the most deepest story discussions I've had at the company, and it heavily involved all the editorial leads (me, Eleanor and Luis the development leads, and Judy the edit lead). By the end, we must have gone through dozens of variations of fun intrigue plots before we found one that had the coolest aspects of several others without those other plots' drawbacks. I hope you guys like it!

I am deeply intrigued.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

20 people marked this as a favorite.
The Painted Oryx wrote:
Is that Sarkorian flag intentionally Haida-esque? It looks great! Really interested to learn more about Sarkorians! So far this book looks amazing. Can it be August already?

Maybe just a teensy bit. I'm Tlingit and I liked the idea of seeing more of the PNW arts and cultures represented in Paizo's books, so I may have nudged the World Book devs with some suggestions I had for what the new Sarkoris Scar flag might look like as the Sarkorians and their gods gather together again.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
CorvusMask wrote:
Mark Seifter wrote:
CorvusMask wrote:

ALSO WAIT A SEC

That is fricking (older) Lander Ledeba from Kingmaker CRPG, isn't it?! :D

No wonder things are getting screwed up in Brevoy, that guy is canon!

Edit: Also noticed someone already pointed that out, but I added link so everyone else also gets the context

He's originally from Pathfinder Society scenarios, starting with Horn of Aroden.

Wait a sec, I've run that scen-

Oh. He is THAT guy :D I forgot his name so I never realized those two where the same person

Aaand now I have another reason to dislike Kingmaker CRPG's original content because he is kind of a jerk in CRPG :P Dagnabbit Kingmaker writers for setting his character development back!

I actually really liked Lander in Kingmaker; he's easily my favorite choice of advisor. Always gave me the impression of a rebellious teen who knows he's a rebellious teen and is determined to get the life experience he needs to grow up whether his family approves or not.

I haven't seen him from anywhere else so I wasn't aware of his 'canon' backstory, but either way I'm happy to see him grow up respectable. :)

Grand Lodge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

This book is already in the "Gotta Have" category. Good thing I'm stashing cash away for August 1st.

Contributor

16 people marked this as a favorite.

I'm gratified by the reception in this thread. :)

Paizo Employee Designer

15 people marked this as a favorite.
Liane Merciel wrote:
I'm gratified by the reception in this thread. :)

This is just the natural consequence of getting two of our best novel authors to help breathe life into the stories of each region!

Note to those reading this post with less context: Liane and Sutter wrote many of the chapters, amidst a star-studded cast of authors including Lyz, Ron, Erik, and James Jacobs


8 people marked this as a favorite.
Liane Merciel wrote:
I'm gratified by the reception in this thread. :)

Setting guides are, hands down, my favorite gaming supplements. I'm glad you all were pulled in to build something awesome into something Super Awesome™.

Silver Crusade

5 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Mark Seifter wrote:
Liane Merciel wrote:
I'm gratified by the reception in this thread. :)

This is just the natural consequence of getting two of our best novel authors to help breathe life into the stories of each region!

Note to those reading this post with less context: Liane and Sutter wrote many of the chapters, amidst a star-studded cast of authors including Lyz, Ron, Erik, and James Jacobs

Those both make me, an avid Tales fan, very very happy.

Dark Archive

2 people marked this as a favorite.

I think I bit understated it first time so I think I redo my reaction:

YEEEEEEEEEEEES KEVOTH-KUL LIVEESSS!

Seriously, he is one of my favourite npcs in all of aps :p I found his CN drug fueled barbarian shenanigans darkly hilarious and he made for memorable bad guy/ally post heal spell.(my favourite npc from Iron Gods is Isuma though. Hellion is second most favourite, but no way that one is alive anymore :D)

Liberty's Edge

8 people marked this as a favorite.

Every single bit of this sounds really neat. I'm very excited. :)

My only real concern/question is how the absence of the WotR PCs is explained. And they pretty much must be absent, unlike other AP protagonists...they can probably take the Whispering Tyrant by themselves if they're still around, among other setting-wrecking stuff. 17th level characters don't do that, but 20th level/Mythic Tier 10 ones do.


Saedar wrote:
Liane Merciel wrote:
I'm gratified by the reception in this thread. :)
Setting guides are, hands down, my favorite gaming supplements. I'm glad you all were pulled in to build something awesome into something Super Awesome™.

Hear hear.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

Just invoke 'Because the Gap' even if it doesn't make sense in this case :)


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Deadmanwalking wrote:
My only real concern/question is how the absence of the WotR PCs is explained. And they pretty much must be absent, unlike other AP protagonists...they can probably take the Whispering Tyrant by themselves if they're still around, among other setting-wrecking stuff. 17th level characters don't do that, but 20th level/Mythic Tier 10 ones do.

I figure "they are off deep in the planes dealing with some unspecified but extremely pressing threat" is sufficient if the players had not previously written their characters off into the sunset.

Like I would buy "Tar-Baphon is below their pay grade" for that group.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber
PossibleCabbage wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
My only real concern/question is how the absence of the WotR PCs is explained. And they pretty much must be absent, unlike other AP protagonists...they can probably take the Whispering Tyrant by themselves if they're still around, among other setting-wrecking stuff. 17th level characters don't do that, but 20th level/Mythic Tier 10 ones do.

I figure "they are off deep in the planes dealing with some unspecified but extremely pressing threat" is sufficient if the players had not previously written their characters off into the sunset.

Like I would buy "Tar-Baphon is below their pay grade" for that group.

We had one become the herald, the other 4 had the choice to relinquish their mythic power back to Iomedae or depart Golarion for the planes or places unknown.


10 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

My group kinda messed up the whole "killing Deskari" thing (long story), and we ended up sealing the Worldwound from the far side. It was then determined that since our mythic power came from the Wardstones, if we returned to the Material Plane it would rip the Worldwound open again, so our characters are off fighting demons forever or whatever extraplanar heroes do. :)


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
MaxAstro wrote:
My group kinda messed up the whole "killing Deskari" thing (long story), and we ended up sealing the Worldwound from the far side. It was then determined that since our mythic power came from the Wardstones, if we returned to the Material Plane it would rip the Worldwound open again, so our characters are off fighting demons forever or whatever extraplanar heroes do. :)

That’s a good angle. Or maybe even the mythic heroes *needed* to be on the abyssal side to close the Worldwound, and sacrificed themselves to do so. That would also explain their absence in a suitably heroic way.

(I’m sure they’ll leave the details open, though, to ensure no one’s run through WotR conflicts with canon.)


3 people marked this as a favorite.
MaxAstro wrote:
My group kinda messed up the whole "killing Deskari" thing (long story), and we ended up sealing the Worldwound from the far side. It was then determined that since our mythic power came from the Wardstones, if we returned to the Material Plane it would rip the Worldwound open again, so our characters are off fighting demons forever or whatever extraplanar heroes do. :)

If they are still on good terms with Nocticula, presumably she can get them into the Maelstrom whenever she moves there, but she'll probably ask for a pretty big (chaotic, but not evil) favor in return.


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
PossibleCabbage wrote:
MaxAstro wrote:
My group kinda messed up the whole "killing Deskari" thing (long story), and we ended up sealing the Worldwound from the far side. It was then determined that since our mythic power came from the Wardstones, if we returned to the Material Plane it would rip the Worldwound open again, so our characters are off fighting demons forever or whatever extraplanar heroes do. :)
If they are still on good terms with Nocticula, presumably she can get them into the Maelstrom whenever she moves there, but she'll probably ask for a pretty big (chaotic, but not evil) favor in return.

We had a... complicated relationship with Nocticula, unsurprisingly. Extra complicated by the fact that one of our PCs ended up marrying Arueshalae.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Hmmm, getting a very "Barrens" vibe here. So you might as well find out now:

Spoiler:
Mankrik's wife is at 49.3,50.4 on your world map.


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Is that supposed to be Casandalee's holy symbol? Not a fan, way too busy.


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
tqomins wrote:

So the archetypes we know so far:

Core Rulebook: The multiclass archetype for each class.

Lost Omens World Guide: One per region:

* correction below *

Looking forward to hearing the rest!

Correction, I forgot that Mark revealed one of the archetypes at PaizoCon. I'm just going to assume Old Cheliax for this one ...

1) Absalom: Pathfinder Agent
2) Broken Lands: Aldori Duelist
3) Eye of Dread
4) Golden Road
4) High Seas
6) Impossible Lands: Student of Perfection
7) Mwangi Expanse
8) Old Cheliax: Hellknight Armiger
9) Saga Lands
10) Shining Kingdoms

Also! I'm guessing Red Mantis Assassin for the High Seas, for reasons explained here.

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Mark Seifter wrote:
Liane Merciel wrote:
I'm gratified by the reception in this thread. :)

This is just the natural consequence of getting two of our best novel authors to help breathe life into the stories of each region!

Note to those reading this post with less context: Liane and Sutter wrote many of the chapters, amidst a star-studded cast of authors including Lyz, Ron, Erik, and James Jacobs

Yessss


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Saedar wrote:
Liane Merciel wrote:
I'm gratified by the reception in this thread. :)
Setting guides are, hands down, my favorite gaming supplements. I'm glad you all were pulled in to build something awesome into something Super Awesome™.

Mine too.

About my only gripe is leaving the 'Stolen Lands Kingdom' a blank slate, especially when major events like absorbing Pitax are canon.

The point of a setting guide is the shared setting/shared experience. Waffling on part of it kinda defeats the purpose, more so if the events not described happen anyway. Schrödinger's Kingdom is a weird setup.

That said, pulling a lot of the talented Tales folks into this is a good call. Putting their next novels out would be even better.


4 people marked this as a favorite.

I guess everyone will have their favorite outcome regarding the setting advancement.

To me, Casandalee supporting the Black Sovereign, Kevoth-Kul, is the most welcomed outcome from the Broken Lands, as he is my favorite NPC in that adventure (the one from which I took the Sovereign title), and I'm really attached to the new goddess as we actually helped her in achieving divinity.

Silver Crusade

Mixed feelings about lander, some of my PFS players hate him, and well he did not survive the CRPG Kingmaker in one of my runs.

Everything else looks very intriguing ^^


1 person marked this as a favorite.
NielsenE wrote:
Feels like a pretty stupid move on Razmir's part. As much as I dislike him, he's been reasonably intelligent in everything we've seen, except for this.

No.. Razmir isn't dumb, he's biding his time. I think I figured this thing out. Lord Synarr IS Razmir. Seriously, the clues are all over that Lost Omens post. The art, the fear of mortality, the kid trying to sell him god's tear?! He plans to become a real good very soon, until then he isn't taking any chances with Tar-Baphon.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

By far, this is the book I'm most looking forward to. So far the tidbits are juicy!

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